Debt settlement giant remains barred from business in NC, AG says
Release date: 6/7/2013
Company took $4.1 million from NC consumers, used less than 13 percent to pay bills
Raleigh: A Wake County judge has extended an order that bars World Law Group, one of the largest debt settlement firms in the country, from taking orders and collecting money from consumers, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.
“Too often, consumers pay for debt relief that not only doesn’t work, but gets them even further behind on their bills,” Cooper said. “We fought for a strong state law against advance fee debt relief schemes and we’re continuing to use it to crack down on violators.”
Cooper filed suit last month against Swift Rock Financial, Inc. of Austin, Texas, also known as World Law Group, its owner Derin Scott, and other subsidiaries and won a temporary order
to stop its illegal debt relief scheme from preying on North Carolina consumers.
Wake County Superior Court Judge G. Bryan Collins, Jr. extended that ban by signing a preliminary injunction this week which among other things bars the defendants from offering debt settlement services in the state. They are also barred under the court order from entering into contracts with or collecting any fees from North Carolina consumers while the case against them goes forward. The order also requires World Law to notify North Carolina consumers that they cannot provide them with legal pleadings or advice. As the case continues, Cooper will seek a permanent stop to the company’s activities in North Carolina and refunds for consumers.
A second preliminary injunction order was entered against Global Client Solutions, LLC, which processes payments on behalf of World Law. The order bans Global from disbursing any more money from North Carolina consumers to World Law as fees.
The North Carolina State Bar joined in the lawsuit because World Law Group allegedly advertised and offered legal services but is not authorized or licensed to practice law in North Carolina.
As alleged in Cooper’s complaint, World Law Group is actually a classic advance fee scheme that collects thousands of dollars in upfront fees from consumers but rarely obtains any debt relief for them. Based on information uncovered during Cooper’s investigation, at least 813 North Carolina consumers have paid World Law Group more than $4.1 million for debt settlement services since 2010. Of that amount, World Law Group collected more than $2.6 million for itself in illegal advance fees and used only $527,000, or less than 13 percent, to pay the consumers’ creditors.
Under North Carolina law, it’s illegal to collect any upfront fee for debt settlement services.
Contact: Noelle Talley, (919) 716-6413